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Countys road future could be bumpy
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The future of Bryan County roads may be bumpy due to Department of Transportation funding issues in the 2009 fiscal year.

Bryan County Board of Commissioners discussed pending projects such as Belfast-Keller Loop, the road to the new middle school in Richmond Hill and Harris Trail extension in its meeting Tuesday and the impact waning DOT funds may have on those projects.

Rick Gardner, 5th District Representative, said everyone may not be aware of the significant changes in the DOT budget.

"What the public may not know is that there has been a dramatic change with the DOT. It’s not business as usual. There are a lot of projects we would have thought would go one way, but the money is no longer available, just like in many households. No project is safe. They are changing the way they do business," he said.

County Engineer Dale Dudley said the county had previously been approved for $150,000 in state aid toward the Harris Trail project that would cost about one million just for the base and paving of the road, not counting what the county would have to put in to complete the project.

Phil Jones, County Administrator said he contacted the state commissioner’s office regarding the $150,000 but was told by an assistant that there was no contract on the project. He said he gave the assistant the project contract number, but to date had not received a return call.

"DOT is not releasing anything, but I’m receiving mixed information when talking between entities. I am bypassing others and going straight to state. DOT has indicated there may not be any money in 2009," he said.

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